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My iphoto library has disappeared. How do I find it?

67704 Views 157 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2014 5:58 AM by clodo9 RSS
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)

    This is one that strongly merits a post over on the Using Mac OS X forum. This is very odd:


    Everything left in this folder is the subfolder, gray out. When checking the folder info, it shows zero bytes, and created date is very funny : tuesday 24 january 1984.


    Is this an external disk?

  • onpurpose Calculating status...

    Terence Devlin wrote:


    This is one that strongly merits a post over on the Using Mac OS X forum. This is very odd:


    Is this an external disk?



    Hi Terence, thanks to you too for trying to help. It's happening on the main internal Macintosh HD of my iMac. It makes all backup and analyses all more difficult...


    Do you have an idea how could a folder be grey out and display such a funny date ?


    Anyway, after all, I don't know any application, or system, that deletes a file without notifying the user, whatever happens. When a file get corrupted, well it went corrupted, and in some way, the user can at least try to repair it or extract the most of it.


    Here, the libraries have simply physically disappeared and I haven't been offered any chance of review and fixing. 12 years of pictures ! My complete personal history.


    iPhoto have been working perfectly all those years since I have been using in 2006 and suddenly either iPhoto or MacOSX Maverick just shoot me in the back. This is simply uncredible, and yet, it happened, truly. I really blame Apple in this case.


    Back to business, trying to find back my iphoto library files...


    So I booted this morning in safe mode, and runned disk utility on it, it didn't work.

    Everything is correct except this error :


    Warning: SUID file “System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ ent” has been modified and will not be repaired.


    I found an external disk with an old time machine, updated 1,5 year ago. Hoping I find a backup file on it... I run TM in safe mode. and I find a july 2012 backup. Very old, but now, in the worst scenario, I have lost only 18 months of photos.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)

    Do you have an idea how could a folder be grey out and display such a funny date ?


    Significant damage to the disk directory or the actual platter itself.


    This is well beyond the scope of iPhoto, and I would strongly urge you to post on the Using Mac OS X forum. Someone there should be able to turn some light on this.

  • jhicken Calculating status...

    Just got off the phone with my 76yo mother. She was scanning  pictures yesterday and when she tried to access her iPhoto she got a note asking her "Which iPhoto library do you want iPhoto to use." The few choices didn't point to an old library and there wasn't a function to search [or so she said over the phone]. I had her search for her iPhoto library and it was no longer there. Fortunately I set up Time Machine and I was able to walk her through the restoration of her library. Once finished, everythign opened up as it should and her photos were restored. Considering this is one of the main things she uses on her computer, I'm glad we were able to get things back in order.

  • jrsurfs Calculating status...

    Can the iPhoto Library Manager software help us locate an iPhoto Library (Ver 8.1.2) that has suddenly disappeared from our G5 desktop (running OS X 10.7.5)?  We copied an iPhoto Library (also Ver 8.1.2) from an old black MacBook (running OS X 10.6.8) in target-mode (connected to the G5 with a firewire cable) and placed it on the desktop of the G5 and renamed it MacBook_iPhoto Library. 


    When we double-clicked on this MacBook_iPhoto Library icon on the desktop of the G5 it opened iPhoto on the G5 and allowed us to view all the photos that were on the black MacBook.  OK, good… but when we closed iPhoto on the G5, and then re-opened iPhoto it defaulted to the MacBook_iPhoto Library and not the G5 owner’s iPhoto Library (i.e. the only listed user on the G5 is “owner”).


    When we look into the Pictures folder of the owner on the G5 there’s nothing in that folder, no iPhoto Library, nothing…

    When we run a search for iPhoto Library in SearchLight nothing comes up…except for MacBook_iPhoto Library.

    When we run a search for an individual photo we know we had in the owner’s iPhoto Library on the G5 in SearchLight using the photo’s file name (e.g. IMG_0797) nothing comes up…


    Where did the original iPhoto Library that was on our G5 go?  We had about 50 GB of photo content in that file!!!

    This makes no sense, please, please, please help.

  • jrsurfs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    And of course, we have no backup of this iPhoto Library in the G5...

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,895 points)

    when you launch iPhoto it always opens the last used library


    TO open a different library depress adn hold the option key, launch iPhoto and use the resulting select library window to select the desired library




  • jrsurfs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Larry, but I tried that and no other iPhoto Library shows up when I launch iPhoto with the option key held down.  It's truly like the iPhoto Library in the G5 vanished.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,895 points)

    easiest solution is to restore your backup from before this occured - this type of issues is why you must always have a good, current backup



  • jrsurfs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately as I stated in the follow-up message to my original post, we have no backup. I had Apple support remote into the computer yesterday and neither the advisor or senior advisor could find the G5 owner's iPhoto Library.  What's baffling to them is the Pictures folder is completely empty, and no trace of that original iPhoto Library or its content can be found using SearchLight.  So by default iPhoto 8 can only see the MacBook_iPhoto Library that's sitting on the desktop and that's what it opens every time.


    Looks like data recovery is our only option...sigh

  • onpurpose Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I suppose you know your answer is the kind of excuses they give in every Apple store when they have no answer to a stupid osx behavior. A behavior that harm people in a terrible way


    Even an evil hacker wouldn't delete your life, as osx did with the iphoto library.


    Anyway. I have been knowing this bug, and looked in all my old disks to find a very old backup, and thanks to photostream, i managed to save almost every pictures. But at the beginning, I really though I had lost 12 years of pictures and was almost crying, even if I never look those pictures, the fact that you have to accept they have disappeared forever is hurting.


    When a file gets corrupted. It gets corrupted. It should not be deleted by the system, no matter what happens. The system should allow the user to find an issue to the corrupted file.


    In the case that has been exposed for 10 pages now, the library file is simply DELETED, vanished without any notice. It's a file containing the story of the user. No single user document should delete itself.


    'have a backup' is of course welcome. But I guess no one expects a file to disappear from the computer like osx does it with the iphoto library. This is not an acceptable; if Apple cares about its customers, a fix and update is mandatory in very short terms.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,895 points)

    Sorry - but if you care at all about yoru computer files (including yoru photos of course) you MUST have a backup - - not having one is a 100% guarentee that you will lose things - probably everything - sooner or later


    Not haveing a backup is like driving yrou car without insurance - sooner or later you will hae a problem and lose things



  • onpurpose Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree with the idea of the backup Larry.


    What I want to say is : my car and my car provider won't remove the engine or the tires because one of them is not working well. The point is : osx should NOT delete any user file, unless it's the intention of the user.

  • jrsurfs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree that a backup is needed, and I don't want to blame my gf for not backing up her G5 when all we did was move an iPhoto file from one computer to another; this move should not cause the G5's original iPhoto Library to vanish.


    I agree with onpurpose that if the G5's original iPhoto Library file was somehow corrupted by this move, then OS X should have given us the option to do something with this file before mysteriously removing/deleting it.

  • clbobman Calculating status...

    I agree with this user, this is something seriously odd going wrong with iphoto and when are apple going to try and sort this out¿ There should be some special forum created on this problem. How many more users have to lose all of their photos. It is correct that we should all have backups, but sometimes things go wrong when a backup has been lost etc. That is life. The truth is that a file should not be deleted without approval. It is just odd


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